Thursday, September 30, 2010

JD Power & Associates: Prudential Ranked Highest Among Home Sellers

From J.D. Power and Associates:

Prudential Real Estate ranks highest among home sellers that use full service real estate firms according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction StudySM.

Check out the Special Power Report: Prudential Real Estate.

Got a First and Second Mortgage?

Rebel Cole, a finance and real estate professor from DePaul University has some controversial advice for you if you are delinquent on your first mortgage but still making monthly payments on your home equity credit line or second mortgage.

Article: An iffy strategy for borrowers with first and second mortgages.

405 Bridge Change to Come

Neighborhood traffic concerns—and the potential for saving millions in construction costs—have prompted a radical rethinking of plans to bring down the Mulholland Bridge over the 405 Freeway.

Instead of demolishing and rebuilding the 1959 structure—one of three bridges targeted in the 405 Sepulveda Pass project—workers instead would construct an entirely new Mulholland overpass just south of the current bridge. Coming from the west, drivers would enter the new bridge in the same place they do now, then angle slightly south across the freeway before ending up on Skirball Center Drive. Only after the new span was completed would the old one come down, thus reducing traffic-related inconvenience during construction.

Mike Barbour, who is heading up the project for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimates the new method would save between $4 million and $10 million.

Mortgage Rates Still Breaking Record Lows

Mortgage rates, nearly across the board, reached record lows again for the week ending Sept. 23.

The Freddie Mac weekly survey showed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached 4.32% with an average 0.8 point, down to its all-time low from 4.37% last week. Last year, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 62 basis points higher.

The 15-year FRM reached a new record low at 3.75% with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.82% last week and 4.36% a year ago.

[…] The weekly Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts showed the average 30-year FRM at 4.5%, unchanged from last week. New record lows came for the 15-year FRM, which fell 2 [basis points] to 3.94%, and the 30-year FRM jumbo loan that dropped to 5.16%.


Latest Real-Time Market Data - Westside and Manhattan Beach

*Click on charts to enlarge

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Featured Listing Reduced!

12679 Promontory Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90049
Now listed at $2,289,000!

This is the best deal in an exclusive guard gated Mountaingate community of Brentwood. Reduced over $135K and needs to be sold.

This over 5,000 sq. ft. home has top quality finishes throughout and was completely remodeled in 2007. Features include great city light views, a fully-equipped cook's kitchen, exceptional master suite, media room, private guest suite, high ceilings and situated in a resort like setting. The home will be open on Tuesday 9/28 from 11am – 2pm and it is very easy to show.

Please click here for the virtual tour

ALSO: See our other listings here. 1341 Duende Lane will be open on Sunday from 2-5 and 756 Bundy can easily be shown.

Let us know if you have any questions or showing requests.

Pricing Right Leads To Quick Escrows and Some Multiple Offers

This month has seen some properties move very quickly after debuting on the market. The power of pricing right and reducing when necessary has never been more apparent.

12112 La Casa Ln. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This Brentwood home moved into escrow after only 5 days on the market! With a sizeable lot, location on a cul-de-sac and a pool, and priced to sell immediately at $1,495,000 (only $452/sq ft)

3370 Mandeville Canyon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90049
About 7 minute drive up Mandeville from Sunset, this 3+3 traditional modern style, mid-century architectural home went into escrow after only 8 days on the market. At $1,300,000 it is a great starter home in a great school district.

2517 3rd St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Location and potential seem to be the story of this 3bed, 2bath home on a 9K sq ft lot just blocks from the beach and Main Street. The property was listed on 09/07/2010 and went into escrow 10 days later. Quick history lesson– listed in mid-2008 for about $2.5M, the listing expired after about 7 months on the market. This time, it was listed for $1,850,000 – and moved quickly!

12306 Dorothy St. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This 3 bed, 2.75bath home in Brentwood, is south of Montana and west of Bundy. It was listed on 9/7/2010, and went into escrow on 9/21/2010 after only 2 weeks on the market.

Analyzing Some Intriguing Recent Sales

12305 5TH Helena Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This Brentwood home on a huge 23K sq ft lot sold on September 8th after only 13 days on the market! It not only sold within 2 weeks of being listed, but sold for $3,850,000 – ABOVE the listing price of $3,595,000.

1372 Marinette Rd. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Listed in February 2010 for $1.949M this 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on an approximately 14K sq ft. lot, in the Pacific Palisades, and close to the Village, saw a drastic price reduction before being sold at $1.525M this week; a reduction of 21.75%.

751 Greentree Rd. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 *multiple offers
Located on a 25K sq. ft. lot, this property sold for land value in a multiple offer situations. The $2.3M sale price was well above the $2.195M list price. It was on the market for 10 days.

235 24th St. Santa Monica, CA 90402
After 70 days on the market, this 4 bed/4.5 bath home sold this week for $2,999,000; more than 500K below its original listing price of $3,449,000 in May this year. Once it was reduced to $2.9M it went into escrow within a week and was a good buy.

133 Hollister Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90405
This 3 bed, 3.5 bath well-located home with great features and ocean views, was built in 2005 and sold this week for its listing price of $3,100,000 after only 3 days on the market…a great example of what a correct listing price can accomplish.

270 S Westgate Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90049

The former home of Maureen O’Hara, the starlet from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It was remodeled and restored and listed in May this year for $2,395,000. The price dropped $285K (approximately 12%) before selling for $2,110,000 this week, after 3 months on the market

Manhattan Beach Bouncing Back… Median Price up 10% in 2010

As the chart here shows – looking at SFRs citywide– the median price locally took its biggest hit in 2009, dropping from nearly $1.8m in 2006-07 to a 5-year low of $1.459m. A drop of 18% from 2006. However, the median has bounced back solidly in 2010.

With 230 sales year-to-date (thru Sept. 22), we've got nearly as many closed sales to look at in 2010 as there were in the full years of 2008 (242) and 2009 (265).

This year the citywide median price, at $1.599m, is up 10% from 2009, down just 10% from 2006.

The nice rally earlier this year, lots of one-time failed sellers came back in 2010 and made their deals, the high end returned – are the main reasons why you see in a 10% boost in the median this year.

*Source: Manhattan Beach Confidential. A great resource about Manhattan Beach Real Estate.

GLOW Event - A True All-Nighter in Santa Monica

This Saturday is the GLOW Event at Santa Monica Beach and Pier, Palisades Park and the 3rd Street Promenade and new Santa Monica Place Mall and Dining Terrace. It features original light installations, art displays and exhibits, as well as live music and DJs, Food and Drinks Specials, Promotions in stores and extended store hours.

It should be a lot of fun and a great way to experience Santa Monica nightlife! Check out the article below for some advice on getting to the event and links to the event's webpage that features the specials and store hours.

Santa Monica Daily Press Article: Glow Survival Guide

Mortgage Rates Still Near Record Lows

Freddie Mac said mortgage rates were unchanged this week, while another rate survey set new record lows.

The Freddie Mac weekly survey put the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.37% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Sept. 23, stable from last week's slight increase. A year ago, the average rate was 5.04%.

Freddie said the 15-year FRM average also remain unchanged this week at 3.82% with an average 0.7 point — below last year's average rate of 4.46%.

The weekly Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts shows the average 30-year FRM at 4.5% with a 0.35 point, setting a new low in the 25-year-old survey and below 5.36% a year ago. The 15-year FRM was 3.96% with a 0.35 point, down from 4% last week and also at a record low. The 30-year, jumbo FRM averaged 5.17% last week with a 0.35 point, down from 5.19% last week.

*Source: Housing Wire: Mortgage surveys vary slightly, but weekly rates still at or near record lows

Friday, September 10, 2010

Analysis of August Sales Data

*Click on chart to enlarge

The excitement of the spring selling season has officially passed us by with sales volume continuing to shrink with only Westchester showing higher sales in August over July. Santa Monica pretty much stayed status quo with Pacific Palisades and Mar Vista dropping off over 30%.

If you take a look at the above chart, you will notice a fairly big difference from the Original List Price and the eventual sale price, especially on the high end. We have started to use the original list price in our research as opposed to the list price reported in the MLS to give you a more accurate idea of what is going on in the market. Listing agents have tricky ways to manipulate the original list price to be higher on sales report data and unless the listing history is properly explored, the numbers can be distorted. We found quite a few examples of that this month.

Overall, the high end seller still seems to be struggling with where the market is while more middle class areas like Culver City and Westchester have a very small gap between list and sale price. A few examples:

1415 Summitridge in Beverly Hills Post Office takes the cake for the largest gap between original list price and sales price with a 47.35% difference. It was listed for $3.799M and sold for $2.0M! Talk about an approved short sale…

10830 Chalon Road, is a lot sale overlooking Bel Air Country Club on over an ½ acre. It just sold for $1.850M…in 2005, it was bought for $3.750M! OUCH!

In Santa Monica, 304 14th Street (left) finally sold for $3.550 after being on the market for 158 days and originally listed at $4.3. The 5+4, 4,024 sq. ft. architectural was renovated in 2008. On the flip side, 460 23rd street, a 3+2.75, 2,804 sq. ft. home in decent condition sold in 18 days for $2.228M, 28K over its $2.2M asking price.

In Pacific Palisades, 15901 Alcima Ave (right), a 5+4 project on almost a ½ acre lot finally sold for $2.4 after being on the market for 207 days and having an original list price of $3.499. This home will be torn down or extensively refurbished.

Culver City had a solid month with 3 of the 11 sales going for over asking. 4041 Huron Avenue, a 3+3, 1,468 sq. ft. home that needs some cosmetic updating sold over asking for $718K. It was listed for $649K and was on the market for 15 days.

After being on the market for almost a year, 23360 Malibu Colony Road (left) finally sold for $14.95M after originally being listed for $21.5M! Located in the exclusive guard gated Malibu colony, the architectural style home is a 4+4 home with at least 3,500 sq. ft. of living space situated on a 8,708 sq. ft. lot right on the ocean.

Open house this Sunday and Active Listings

1341 Duende - Reduced to $1,329,000
Open this Sunday 2-5pm.
3-bed, 2.5-bath upper Marquez house has all the features of a great starter home in the Palisades and includes impressive city and mountain views. Come check it out!

Other Featured Listings:

12679 Promontory : $2,349,000
4bed/4.5bath Dramatically and elegantly redone in 2007, this is truly one of the nicest homes on Promontory. No expense was spared in creating a comfortable and luxurious living environment. Great features throughout the home include extensive built-ins, a fully-equipped kitchen and exceptional master suite.
Link to virtual tour and photos.

756 North Bundy: $1,585,000
If you're looking for a 3-bedroom home in Brentwood, be sure to check out the virtual tour below. This 3 bed/2 bath, 1,993 sq. ft. this home was rebuilt in 2004. A large chef’s kitchen opening to the living room highlights the property. Located 1 mile north of Sunset.
Link to virtual tour and photos.

1st Time in 12 Weeks: Mortgage Rates Creep Up

After 11 consecutive weeks of record lows, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased 3 basis points for the week ending Sept. 9 to 4.35% with an average 0.7 point, according to the Freddie Mac Market survey.

Last week's 4.32% was the lowest rate the survey recorded since its inception in 1971. While the rate this week did increase for the first time in nearly three months, it remains below the 5.07% level seen last year.

The survey of large banks and thrifts reported the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 4.58%, a 5 bps increase from last year.

*Source: Housingwire

Latest Real-Time Market Data - Westside and Manhattan Beach

*Click charts to enlarge

Culver City Retreating to 2003 Price Levels Despite Record Low Interest Rates and Inventory Moving

As we see prices continue to drop despite record low interest rates, one has to wonder what the correction would have been without the homebuyer tax credit and record low interest rates.

Even though the month of August saw 3 of the 11 sales in Culver City go for over asking price, prices are still sliding as a whole. Despite a vibrant downtown area, good city schools and its own police force, Culver City is also coming back down to earth from the real estate steroid era. Here are a few examples:

3972 Midway Ave- (Picture on left)
3+3, 1,943 sq. ft. built in 1980 on a 4,982 Lot

Sold 10/1/03 for $765,000
Sold 5/13/10 for $780,000

5208 Berryman Ave- 3+1, 1,020 sq. ft. built in 1951 on a 5,600 Lot

Sold 11/3/03 for $469,000
Sold 4/29/10 for $499,000

3818 Tilden Ave. (Picture on left)
3+3, 2,219 sq. ft. built in 1928 on a 5,850 Lot

Sold 7/16/10 for $680,000

The next 12-18 months will be a good time for a young family to purchase in Culver City and take advantage of everything it has to offer…but be ready to move on a place you like quickly. Buyers are still circling Culver City and willing to pay over asking if the price is right.